If you’ve stumbled randomly upon this tiny corner of the blogosphere, then you’re probably wondering why it exists. Even if a friend has directed you here, odds are you’re still scratching your head.
So please allow me to explain.
Wee Egg Mon is my nickname. And, as it generally goes with nicknames, I did not choose it. It was thrust upon me. But rather than rail against this bizarre twist of fate, I’ve decided to embrace it—and use this digital soapbox to pontificate about the game I love under the moniker that I’m learning to accept.
The not-so-brief history
In the late 1970s, I was a student at Northwestern University on the shores of Lake Michigan immediately north of Chicago. I met three guys there who, to this day, remain my best friends. Together, we formed the ironically named “Dream Foursome.” And on those too-rare occasions when we got to play golf together, the match—for reasons that now escape us—was set in stone: Craig and Dave always squared off with Brad and me in two-man best ball action.
On paper, our competitors formed the stronger team. But in practice, Brad and I more often prevailed, thanks to our uncanny knack to “ham’n’egg” it. By that I mean when one of us knocked it off the reservation, the other stepped up and posted a par or lower. And then on the next hole, the roles would reverse. Before long, we started referring to each other as Ham and Egg. Our innate personalities dictated that Brad was “Ham” and I was “Egg.” It was meant to be.
In response, our opponents soon took to calling themselves the rather lame “Peanut Butter and Jelly.” But I digress.
The glory days of Ham 'n' Egg
Fast forward to the mid 1990s. Brad and I were both making our livings as writers in the corporate arena, but longed to ply our craft in the golf world. So we launched the "Ham 'n' Egg on Golf" site when most people still thought the web was a place where spiders lived. And we started blogging on the game before the term existed.
Lamentably, our little collaboration no longer exists, eventually falling victim to the dreaded evil of the day job. But our alter egos sure had a heckuva lot of fun while it lasted. We swam in a steady stream of free golf stuff, most notably the latest high-tech equipment, that we reviewed in a Siskel-and-Ebert-like fashion. We secured a newspaper syndication contract with King Features. We landed a book deal with Sleeping Bear Press. Our everyman commentary on the game eventually appeared on NBC Sports’ golf.com. And we built an international following through “Party of Fore,” our site’s open forum and, arguably, the best 19th hole in golf.
The journey to Machrihanish
That last bit led directly to an invitation from a Scottish reader/poster to join him and his mates for their annual weeklong golf orgy at Machrihanish, an Old Tom Morris-designed gem in southwest Scotland. Ham, living up to his nickname, bravely blazed the trail in 2001. I followed in 2002. We’ve gone every year since, bringing several of our other friends—including the other half of the Dream Foursome—with us. Somewhere along the way, one of the Scots—who has a penchant for saddling his lads with unflattering nicknames—redubbed me Wee Egg Mon.
By now, the Egg part of the equation should be clear. As for the balance, it refers to Ben Hogan and his only appearance in the Open Championship, at Carnoustie in 1953. The “Hawk,” as he was known in America, had prevailed in the Masters and U.S. Open that year. So the Texan felt compelled to make the long and, at that time, arduous journey to Scotland to try to make it three majors in a row. He succeeded, an accomplishment that’s yet to be equaled. And the Scots, who were thoroughly smitten, started to call him the Wee Ice Mon—perfectly encapsulating his diminutive stature yet steely resolve.
Thus, Egg—once I’d established a foothold in the auld country—became Wee Egg Mon.
See, as simple as a two-foot putt. Right?
An American's perspective on links golf
Over the years, I’ve had the very good fortune to cross the pond more than 20 times to play dozens of the world’s top links courses in Scotland and Ireland. Those annual trips to Machrihanish inspired me to write a novel based largely on my experiences. And, I am thrilled to say, Scotland has become my second home. Along the way, I’ve chosen to use this platform as a means to share an American’s perspective on the game the way it began and—if you ask me—the way it was always meant to be played.
So if you’ve had a taste of links golf and hunger for more, I invite you to indulge here. And if you’ve yet to imbibe, but long to, I hope this blog will help you find your way to the table. If you love golf as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to one day make the pilgrimage. Trust me, the Wee Egg Mon: You’ll be so glad you did.